Did “Moscow Mitch” Drop Russian Sanctions to Boost KY Aluminum Project?

New details bring McConnell-Russia connection into clearer focus

WASHINGTON — New reporting from The Washington Post and Time brings into question Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s motives to lift sanctions on Russia’s largest aluminum producer, Rusal, months before they announced a multi-million dollar aluminum mill project in Kentucky. 

New information shows: 

  • One day before McConnell led the vote to drop sanctions against Rusal, a McConnell ally, Craig Bouchard, had dinner with Kremlin-linked oligarch and Rusal owner, Oleg Deripaska.
  • Talks about the Rusal-backed Kentucky project were in the works “long before” Rusal was sanctioned in early 2018.
  • Rusal lobbyist and former Senator David Vitter was spotted outside McConnell’s office waiting for a meeting days before the bill to lift the sanctions was brought to the Senate floor.

“Mitch McConnell is tainting the Majority Leader’s office by refusing to answer for his Russian ties,” said Lizzy Price, Director of Restore Public Trust. “Dinner between a McConnell insider and a Russian oligarch the night before McConnell crusaded to drop sanctions to benefit his home state is no coincidence, nor is a Rusal lobbyist pining outside McConnell’s office before he led the vote. McConnell must address the American people he serves directly and explain his true incentives for helping Russian companies. Our nation’s autonomy is at risk.”

Pressure continues to mount against McConnell for his vote to drop sanctions against the Russian company and his refusal to consider laws designed to prevent election interference from other countries after Russian interference in the 2016 election. Restore Public Trust previously called on McConnell to answer lingering questions surrounding his Russian connections after stories linking him to various Russian oligarchs were published and his outrage over his new nickname, “Moscow Mitch” caught the media’s attention.  

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